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Friday, January 18, 2013
Wiese set for Hoffenheim return

Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Hoffenheim will welcome back Tim Wiese in goal for Saturday's clash against Borussia Monchengladbach, with the keeper managing to overcome a string of injuries.

Wiese, 31, signed for Hoffenheim from Werder Bremen last summer, yet several injuries have kept him out of the side since November 18. The Germany international's frustrating season soon reached new levels after he lost the club captaincy before being voted 'Flop of the Year' by his Bundesliga colleagues in a bi-annual kicker poll during the winter break.

However, new Hoffenheim boss Marco Kurz, who took over from the sacked Markus Babbel in December, will select Wiese for the first time this weekend.

"I want to challenge him," Kurz said. "He is our number one. I want the focus to be on that."

Instead of Wiese, Andreas Beck now captains a 16th-placed Hoffenheim side that need to close a seven-point gap with Wolfsburg during the second half of the season, to avoid a relegation play-off or even a direct drop into Bundesliga II.

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